samedi 2 août 2008

Up a Mountain, Olympic Dreams Are Carved

New York Times - GREG BISHOP - August 2nd 2008
The United States Olympic Committee has a sprawling training center in Colorado Springs, a multimillion dollar facility where hundreds of athletes train. [...] Elite American athletes have gathered here for years in search of the most basic and punishing workout : Man versus Hill.

“It’s the one workout where people truly have to face something that is unbeatable,” the speedskater Apolo Ohno said. “It is you against yourself.” [...]

The trail, known among the athletes as the Incline, gains about 2,000 feet in elevation over the length of about one mile. Olympians call it a beast, a bear and a battle-ax, a source of pride and exhaustion for them.
Some coaches even use the Incline as old-fashioned punishment, like the speedskating coach who found that his athletes had been out drinking the night before an intense workout, then took them to the Incline. They vomited halfway up. [...]

“The mountain is the mountain,” Fretta said. “It doesn’t move. There is no way to cheat.”

And only one way to go: up.

vendredi 1 août 2008

From Karen in Vancouver

Plusieurs écrits de cette fan sur ce site «» et plein de photos de Musical Mum qui me semble «quite sympatical indeed» : CANADIAN NATIONAL TEAM SUMMER CAMP 2008 -

[...] After the training session, and after the major press interviews, I had the chance to speak with some of the skaters and get some photos...

"As to the other skaters, I'm gonna go out on a limb (waaaaayyyy out) and suggest the cutie in the red t-shirt is Charles Hamelin's brother Francois. I'm really not sure though, (Lori? any help?)
On You tube:
Short Track speedskating vancouver

Arguably, the only ones worse than the US in promoting their skaters is possibly Canada. I've gone to the website and can't find a single bio or picture of their top skaters.

dimanche 27 juillet 2008

Ohioan trains for Winter Games in L.A.

The Plan Dealer - Tim Warsinskey - July 27th
Olympic hopeful and North Ridgeville native Tina Koenig runs the sand dunes of Manhattan Beach by day, works in a martini bar at night, and mostly lives out of her car. [...] She left the comfortable surroundings of Salt Lake City, where she lived and trained with the U.S. national speedskating team, which also paid her a monthly stipend.

"I didn't get along with the coaches, and I took the chance and left," she said. "It's probably the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life."

Koenig is training twice daily -- once on the beach and once on the ice -- with former U.S. coach Wilma Boomstra. Koenig, 22, lost her stipend from U.S. Speedskating and is bouncing between the homes of three friends while scraping a living between her job and income from a health drink sponsor, FreeLife. [...] "It's a little harder to live, because I'm basically living out of my car. It's a risk I'm willing to take because it's my dream, and I'm willing to do this to get it done. The coaching is really good." [...] Koenig said the motivation to make the Olympic team builds every day, especially with the Summer Games approaching and many of her friends on that team.